Program Support

As the world of legal practice continues to evolve and change, Michigan Law creates new programs to educate and inspire our students, while enhancing the programs that have historically made us strong. Private support for programs helps our students build legal skills for the 21st century.

Zell Entrepreneurship and Law Program (ZEAL):  ZEAL is named for its benefactor, Sam Zell, JD ’66, HLLD ’05, whose gift of $5 million seeded the program.  ZEAL is designed to train the next generation of lawyers as leaders in law and business in an entrepreneurial world. A key component of ZEAL is the Entrepreneurship Clinic, launched in January 2012, which provides legal services solely to student entrepreneurs. ZEAL also includes several new courses tailored for both the entrepreneurial lawyer and the lawyer counseling business of all sizes. Through ZEAL, Michigan Law has a leadership role in educating the business lawyers of tomorrow, while bringing the Law School into participation with the vibrant network of entrepreneurship on the University of Michigan campus.

Legal Clinics: Students in our clinical program move beyond classroom theory to the world of legal practice while earning course credit at the same time. They work on real-life cases under the supervision of clinical faculty who are practicing attorneys. Several of our clinics deal with leading-edge legal issues: the Human Trafficking Clinic, the Innocence Clinic, and the International Transactions Clinic.

Human Rights Law-Oriented Programs: Several programs provide in-depth study and direct engagement with various aspects of human rights law and international public law. Among them is our renowned Program in Asylum and Refugee Law, the world’s most comprehensive curriculum in this field, which brings together students, faculty and visiting scholars who have a commitment to reconciling international legal principles with the practical challenges posed by voluntary migration in all parts of the world.

Environmental Law and Policy Program (ELPP): The ELPP builds on Michigan Law’s rich tradition of scholarship and teaching in this critically important area of the law. Our goal is to build a top-tier environmental program that becomes a destination for students seeking training for this work. Giving opportunities include naming a center, program or institute; funding a clinic; endowing professorships; creating scholarships; and sponsoring lectures and conferences.

Practical Skills-Based Courses: Michigan Law’s graduates are among the world’s most employable, and we want to continue to prepare our students well for their chosen profession. We seek funding to augment our Legal Practice Program (required of all students) with courses that include advanced work in legal writing and drafting, negotiations and client counseling, ethics and professionalism, teamwork, and group communications. 

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